As the NYT observes, Tester is "your grandfather's Democrat." Krugman argues that the election results point to a return to genuine economic populism as opposed to the "faux populism" offered by both Rs and Ds over the last few years.
Social issues have not vanished from conerns of the Democratic agenda or of the progressive "netroots." As a group, most progressives in traditionally "blue" states favor gay marriage, support reproductive rights, and want to see targeted relief for minorities and women to overcome a history of legal oppression.
But the idea that there is a substantial core of Democrats looking to enact the supposed "liberal agenda" advanced by Conservative talking heads as a boogeyman to scare true believers to the polls is simply that: a boogeyman, a myth. Sure, one can find the occassional Senator or Rep. or supposed defender of the Liberal flame who can be goaded into saying something inflamatory. But the issues on the table are the bread and butter of economic populism: healthcare, limiting the influence of big business, education, punishing companies that avoid taxes by rellocating over seas.
What is sad to me is the number of "moderate" Ds I have encountered in the last few days all atwitter that the Ds -- pushed by the supposedly fanatic netroots -- will embark on some version of the conservative boogeyman "liberal agenda."